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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 9, 2007
Babus talk about their achievements, in gfiles, which has no tape around!
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Babus talk about their achievements, in gfiles, which has no tape around!

A magazine devoted to bureaucrats, past and present, giving details of their transfers, postings and their personal achievements, has hit newsstands across the Capital.

By Vikram Vishal

New Delhi, May 9 : A magazine devoted to bureaucrats, past and present, giving details of their transfers, postings and their personal achievements, has hit newsstands across the Capital.

Titled gfiles 'Inside the Government', the 24-page magazine costs a whopping 200 rupees, which means Rs 8.33 per page.

The magazine has appropriately been titled "gfiles": the babus here talk about their files, which has no tapes around it with "Secret" marks on top.

With almost negligible number of advertisements, gfiles gives an insight into the bureaucratic set up of the country, with the bureaucrats themselves contributing articles. Many of them played distinguished roles in the development of the country and occupied senior posts in the Central and State Secretariats.

In the second issue, some of the prominent contributors include Army chief General JJ Singh, MG Devasahayam, former IAS officer and presently chairman of an NGO in Chennai, Niranjan Desai, senior Indian Foreign Service officer, and Rajeshwar Prasad, topper of 1948 Indian Civil Service exam, among others.

The cover story features an interview with Nripendra Mishra, Chairman, TRAI, a 1967 batch IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre.

Mishra, who served as the Secretary, Department of Telecom (DoT), where he had taken the decision to change the telecom set up from the prevailing analog system, to the digital mode, has talked of his targets as the TRAI chief.

"We now have a telecom subscriber base of 20.6 crore while the broadband subscriber base is 23 lakh. Our target is to have a subscriber base of 50 crore by 2010. The government and private shares are equal," he said.

In his article, General J.J. Singh takes time off from the nitty-gritty of military strategies to deliberate on managerial skills. He said while in the army, an officer is called a tiger, and is expected to behave as one, but the same qualities are required in other professions as well. As the nation progresses economically and industrially, we may be looking for 'tigers' to achieve results.

General Singh says a superior is expected to "behave like a tiger" with his subordinates; but he himself should not shed his skin and "become a rat" before his superiors. "If you behave like a rat in the hope that this will get a promotion, you will not get it."

"Sycophancy, unfortunately, is a universal organisational trait. We all feel happy when people say complimentary things about us. If you have someone constantly praising you, then you should be clever enough to realise that this person will do the same thing to your successor," General Singh wrote in his article.

Rajeshwar Prasad, who was the topper in the 1948 of the Indian Civil Service Examination, talks of his interaction with eminent political leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and Govind Ballabh Pant. His advice to the present bureaucrats is that they should be meeting the masses.

He says: "My batch was the first after Independence. Most of the candidates were from an urban background and did not have any idea about villages. I used to go to villages and talk to the people directly and always get first hand reports."

He credits Sardar Patel, the "Iron Man of India", who was also the first Home Minister of the country, for standing firmly in support of the ICS and sticking to his conviction that a unitary administrative service would help in the integration of India.

The issue also has a detailed survey of the "Doordarshan mess", which details the tussle between professionals and generalists serving in the government. It details how "lack of professionalism, authoritarian attitudes, turf battles are sapping DD's morale."

Former executive editor of India Today, Inderjit Badhwar is the Editor-in-Chief of the monthly magazine. He hopes to make more bureaucrats talk, and also expose the weakness in the political and administrative set up of the country. The magazine has also targeted political leaders, and attempted to expose their feet of clay

Besides the experiences shared by present and past bureaucrats in the form of articles, the Delhi-based magazine also takes a scoop at politicians and some of their deeds that missed the headlines.


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